Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

most notable moments from the show

All of Liz Kingsman a woman show is a standout. Lighting, audio design, not to mention razor-sharp writing and acting. It’s just unbelievable. If there has to be one that stands out: it’s the ending. No spoilers. tyson ray


It’s somewhere between Garry Starr emerging from a makeshift vagina in a bottom-out fashion—a Star(r) is born—or Jordan Gray emerging from a phone booth onstage in her superhero costume. Sonya Nair

If you don’t like being bullied, don’t go to Garry Starr – he’ll find you in the back row past everyone else. I won’t soon forget the moment my boyfriend got kissed for not paying attention to the engagement instructions…or was he? Hannah Francis

The moment a superpowered Jordan Gray lets go of all taboos (and costumes), he dominates the oft-toxic conversations surrounding trans bodies with beauty, power and charisma. KAPOW haters. – Stephen Russell

Sammy J bids farewell to many eccentric characters in his brilliant sketch show hustle- That includes government coach and Bush poet SJ Patterson – but his co-star James Pender might be more impressed by Potato/Peter Dutton than all of them. – Donna DeMaio

Guy Montgomery’s explanation of how much three different illicit substances (marijuana, acid, and ketamine) he takes before completing his daily tasks is a great through-line. – Mitch Cahill

Count to the finals Yee Howdy rides again, Clara Cupcakes dressed up as a black and white Holstein Frisian cow in a skintight Lycra onesie. One-by-one, she removed the tip of each nipple from her pink strappy breasts, drained the liquid into a tall glass — eliciting raucous laughter and disgust from the audience — and concocted milkshakes live on stage . – Vyshnavee Wijekumar

Clara Cupcakes showcases her unique technique for making milkshakes on her show Yee Howdy Rides Again.

Clara Cupcakes showcases her unique technique for making milkshakes on her show Yee Howdy Rides Again.

most dangerous joke or show

Tim Key’s performance was hard to sell on paper – a full hour, showing Melbourne audiences the hardships of lockdown in London, aka Locky D’s world champion? Rrrrightto mate.Thankfully, Britain’s eccentric tightrope walks the fine line between empathy and epiphany mulberry, By the way, it should be nominated for Most Outstanding Show. – Mitch Cahill

Jordan Gray joked about Hitler and dogs in a somewhat uncertain room, but went on to joke with a wicked laugh that if they were “dogs” or “Nazis,” it would only offend the audience — and make the audience laugh. – Sonia Nair

My spine tingled as Huang He narrated the show to a woman in the front row who she thought was from the Chinese embassy. I’m not sure which is more risky: that, or the hook-up joke — if her parents ever heard of it. – Hannah Francis

Anne Edmonds’ poo-poo reveal has shed light on which Sydney Coles Local workers got more than they bargained for on ‘Down Down’. – Stephen Russell

Jordan Gray deserves a special mention.her extraordinary and introspective performance is it a bird Reveals everything – literally. Gray stripped down and performed entirely in buff to make her point. – Donna DeMaio

Jordan Gray is the myth-busting superhero we all need.

Jordan Gray is the myth-busting superhero we all need.

Warmest Moment Award

Steen Raskopoulos’ character in his solo sketch show gets spilled coffee and needs someone in the audience to give him not just a new shirt but a new pair of pants – exemplified by the show’s title friendly strangerA helpful spectator named Tim took off his shirt and dedicated it to Steen, and when no one volunteered to offer his pants, Tim also offered his pants. Only someone like Raskopoulos can deliver wonderfully funny moments of gentle interaction with the audience. – Sonia Nair

I tend to stay as anonymous as possible when making comments, but when Cal Wilson asked for advice on how to keep cats off the kitchen counter, I somehow found myself leaking how my beautiful kitten, Chilli, lost a leg to cancer And is no longer the best jumper. For me, Wilson’s sincere and loving response was the biggest soul hug of the event. – Stephen Russell

near the end of her show the goldIn it, Annie Louey sat on a stool and described in emotional detail how her father died of a heart attack in the family car she now owned and drove. Subverting the audience’s expectations, she deftly turned the ending into a punch line, saying “Not all Asians are bad drivers, some of us are dead!” – Vyshnavee Wijekumar

Dr. Brown’s flickering eye contact with his audience culminated in an embrace between him and his willing(?) suitor at the end of his performance. turn around The group hug we all want but are too tame to ask for. – Mitch Cahill

Josh Ludgrove’s Baba, but the entire program. Imagine quitting comedy before a global pandemic, then locked up while caring for your ninety-something Ukrainian grandmother. Sadly, she passed, but is the reason you return to the stage. – Hannah Francis

Joshua Ludgrove’s last 10 minutes Baba, speaking of an unmistakable love for her late grandmother. It made my eyes water and call my own mother the moment I left the room. – tyson ray

Annie Louey deftly subverts audience expectations on her show Gold.

Annie Louey deftly subverts audience expectations on her show Gold.

The Funniest Examples of Crowd Participation

best jokes of the holidays and Funniest example of crowd participation, you say? It starts with Tim Key’s pre-show eye contact: “He didn’t say anything, he’s so hilarious,” my plus-one quipped. Later, it turns into a spicy, blink-and-miss callback. But just the moment my two sides split: Utilizing a large stage prop, an absurd request (fulfilled, mind you) for the audience to pick him up and “put me on the fridge”. – Hannah Francis

Garry Starr's Greece Lightning was a critics favorite.

Garry Starr’s Greece Lightning was a critics favorite.

Tim Key cracks open a bottle of beer and asks an audience member to hand him refreshments every few minutes. Cut to Key berating him for drinking too slowly: “Hurry up!” – Mitch Cahill

Everything from the Garry Starr show, from the squeaky stuffed animal he throws out in the shape of a steak—calling everyone a “stakeholder” when they toss the steak back onstage—to the conversation with a helpful The audience performs a dramatic masquerade together, until they see themselves as narcissus in the audience’s sunglasses, and fall more and more in love with themselves. – Sonia Nair

Sonny Young’s Incredibly stupid adventure game is an interesting study of how a group of strangers thinks as a group and fights collectively on a journey of choosing their own adventure style. In a rare intervening moment, Sonny hilariously suggests that the crowd should choose to abort the mission and flee the country – the best way to solve life’s problems. – Vyshnavee Wijekumar

When queer Jewish comedian Leo Reich asked if there were any other Jews in the audience, he was surprised when a guy suddenly spoke up, experiencing radio silence every other night. The witty listener didn’t hesitate to suggest that it might have something to do with Reich’s unfortunate surname. – Stephen Russell

Charming clown Steen Raskopoulos pulls off a lot of goofy skits on his show. The best way to do this is to convince a viewer to undress himself and then swap pants with him. – Donna DeMaio

Daniel Kitson deftly handles the booers.

Daniel Kitson deftly handles the booers.

Weirdest (or Best) Questions

Daniel Kitson responded to a heckler by turning his attention to another previous question, saying he must have been misquoted. Comedic power out of this world. – Tyson Ray

Wow Alyssa! Transformation on their show had one of their stars, Colwyn Buckland, aggressively heckle ex-lover Filip Lescaut from the crowd midway through the show. Buckland pokes fun at “safe” stand-up material by sarcastically endorsing it. – Mitch Cahill


A viewer on Suren Jayemanne’s show responded to a question Jayemanne posed with throwback jokes from his own routine, to which the comedian responded, “That’s a better answer than mine.” – Sonia Nair

When a woman yells incomprehensible hecklers, Akmal is rambling in the funniest way possible. The comedian replied, “I think you mistook this for talk”. – Donna DeMaio

Jordan Gray second-hand narration – Apparently, an audience member in a pub back home in England thought her joke about Hitler had gone a little too far. It really sums up our current relationship with the Nazi revival (a recurring and worrying theme on this year’s show). – Stephen A. Russell

Instead of booing from the audience, the booing was changed to a joke about body hair. Brodi Snook, thank you for telling us why you are in no rush to get back to Queensland. – Hannah Francis

Here are some other best ones that don’t quite fit into any other category:

Best Pre-Show Deal

Not many people know this, but everyone with a Comedy Fest ticket valid for the day can head to the Meat Maiden for a delicious free cocktail and entrée—a five-star way to start your night off. – Mitch Cahill

Best Musical Comedy

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not good at watching musical comedy shows, but Michelle Brasil is a different story. Just for her impression of an early 2000s pop princess. – Hannah Francis

The Coolest Comedy Festival Costumes


alice tovey totally killed her scream-Very nice leather bodice and tulle Ghostface style dress for her performance not like other ghouls. Drew Barrymore never will.

biggest joke

In one of the biggest jokes played on Australian television, Douglas Lim mentioned his “beautiful jacket” in his introduction three out of three times during his gala scene. Watch the start of his 2018, 2019 and 2023 slots. It’s very silly – and I absolutely love it. – Tyson Ray

Best Song or Dance Number

Samantha Andrew and Mel O’Brien’s song-and-dance show details how to watch your partner accidentally show toilet shit at IKEA, showing ‘lesbians don’t Sick” is haunting. – Vyshnavee Wijekumar

best props

Tim Key proves his poetic/comic prowess in a performance that includes perfectly handled playing cards and major positioning and use of freestanding doors and refrigerators. – Donna DeMaio

this Melbourne International Comedy Festival Now until April 23rd. age is a festival media partner.

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